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A Year in Smart Politics

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A look back at which political institutions were covered the most at Smart Politics in 2013

ushouseseal10.pngFor new readers of Smart Politics, this end-of-the-year report offers a slice of how the data was carved up at Smart Politics in 2013 across the more than 200 reports published on the site this year.

The plurality of coverage centered on the U.S. House of Representatives, with 73 reports focused on that institution, or 34 percent of the year's content.

A sampling of such stories includes:

· Western Women: Regional Gender Disparities in Congressional Representation

· To Serve or Represent? Website Taglines of US Representatives

· Meet the Three House Women Who Go by "Congressman"

· African-American US Representatives by the Numbers

· Running from the Flag? Old Glory Symbolism Waning on US House Campaign Websites

Sixty-three reports discussed developments in or campaigns for the U.S. Senate (30 percent) such as:

· The Longest-Held Republican US Senate Seats

· US Senate Special Elections by the Numbers

· Unusual Entrances: Clergymen Turned US Senators

· Harry Byrd's Death Leaves 167 Living Ex-Senators

· The Third Wheel: States with the Most 3rd Party US Senate Candidacies

Some reports focused on members of both legislative chambers:

· Clockwatchers: Capitol Hill Republicans Showcase 'Debt Clocks' on Websites

· Unusual Exits: 6 Members of Congress Killed by Accidental Gunshots

· 64 Percent of 9/11 Legislators Are Out of Congress

Forty-two reports addressed governorships or upcoming gubernatorial contests across the country (20 percent):

· The Most Competitive States for Gubernatorial Elections Since 1900

· The Five-Timers Club: Gubernatorial Edition

· The Top 50 Longest-Serving Governors of All Time

· 7 Gubernatorial Election Double-Takes

· Which States Have the Highest Rates of Female Gubernatorial Nominees?

· Plurality Blues: Governors on the Hot Seat

Another 26 reports focused on the presidency (12 percent):

· Who's #1? The Media's 2016 Republican Field

· The Death of Presidents: Beware of June and July

· Obama Has Mentioned Terrorism Nearly 1,500 Times as President

· Presidential Commencement Addresses: Notre Dame Reigns

· George H.W. Bush: Hater of Broccoli

· Pollsters Ignoring Rick Perry's 2016 'Campaign'

An additional four percent of reporting addressed other political offices or institutions.

The plurality of Smart Politics reporting in 2013 focused on national politics, regional politics, or politics and campaigns across multiple states (79 reports, or 37.1 percent).

However, stand alone reports were also written on political developments in 37 different states led by Smart Politics' home state of Minnesota (33) and followed by South Dakota and Wisconsin (eight each), Iowa, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania (six), Florida, South Carolina, and Virginia (five), and Kentucky, New Hampshire, and New Jersey (four).

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Remains of the Data

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


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